Welcome to AGSH. A solo-wargaming blog dedicated to my father and the world's most noble hobby; collecting toy soldiers. Here toy soldiers clash in great battles from scales of 3mm to 54mm.

"Truly it can be said of him, without count are his soldiers & beyond measure his might." - Prince Edward in reference to Lord Butler & his invasion force departing London for Mars.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Battle Cry: Battle of Pea Ridge March 7th, 1862

"The Battle of Pea Ridge (also known as the Battle of Elkhorn Tavern) was a land battle of the American Civil War, fought on March 6–8, 1862, at Pea Ridge in northwest Arkansas, near Garfield. Union forces led byBrig. Gen. Samuel R. Curtis moved south from central Missouri, driving Confederate forces into northwestern Arkansas. Maj. Gen. Earl Van Dorn reorganized the Confederate army and launched a counter-offensive, hoping that a victory would enable the Confederates to recapture northern Arkansas and Missouri. In a two–day battle, Curtis held off the Confederate attack on the first day and drove Van Dorn's force off the field on the second day. The outcome of the battle essentially cemented Union control of Missouri and northern Arkansas. The battle was one of the few during the war in which a Confederate army outnumbered its Union opponent." from Wikipedia.

The battle started out with a few early Confederate victories but quickly turned into a stalemate. After a few decisive actions by the Confederates the CS Army looked to be on the verge of victory (5VP to 3.) However this is when Union Colonel Dodge (Union General Curtis' field commander on the Union center and right flank) displayed his tactical brilliance and ordered hit and run cavalry attacks in both the center and the Union left. Both attacks caused large casualties to the Confederates.

Confederate General Price feeling that victory might slip through his fingers despite his numerical superiority ordered his sharpshooters to kill Colonel Dodge and this they did with great expediency and bloody accuracy.

The US Army on the Union left in the bluffs above the battlefield charged and attacked the Confederate lines in another hit and run attack. This almost brought ruin to the Confederate right flank. At his command tent General Price and his officers gathered around carefully considering their options as it may well be their last of the battle as everything now teetered dangerously close to defeat (5VP to 5.)  It was generally agreed that Major W.E. Morgans cavalry unit (the last Confederate cavalry still operating as an effective unit.) should pull back to avoid giving the Union the target they needed to push the CS Army back South.  But Major Morgan and his officers pleaded with the Officers Council that if this was indeed their last fight then let it be a grand one and allow them to charge into the fray. Major Morgan would feint towards the last Union regiment left on the bluffs while the Arkansas 4th Infantry led by Lt Col Arthur C Butler led his regiment in a flank march attack on the same position. If in Major Morgans opinion his charge coupled with Col Butlers flank attack caused the Union regiment to route then his cavalry would at the last minute turn and attack the Union cavalry regiment in the bluffs. This is exactly what happened. Col Butlers Razorbacks smashed the Union soldiers atop the bluff allowing Maj Morgan to catch the Union cavalry by surprise and caused a great slaughter of their men and horses (two thirds of the Union cavalry was killed in the attack.) This daring action brought about the collapse of the Union left flank making General Curtis' position at Pea Ridge untenable resulting in a Confederate victory and the opening of Missouri to the Confederacy and the potential of placing Union General Grant's campaign in danger of being flanked from the West.

No comments: